Eating More Fat Can Keep You Healthy

Mark Lange, PhD

Although counter-intuitive, eating more of certain kinds of fats may actually help you lose weight.

A study published in Lancet followed men and women on a high-fat, Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil and nuts.  Participants on the Mediterranean diet lost more weight and reduced waist circumference more than people told to simply reduce their fat intake.

Date from nearly 7,500 older adults was collected.  The people in the study followed one of three diets: 1) Mediterranean diet with at least 4 tablespoons of olive oil each day, 2) Mediterranean diet with three servings of nuts each week, or 3) a control diet asked to avoid fats.

Both olive oil and nuts contain relatively high amounts of fat, but the fat in them is primarily monounsaturated fat, which is thought to be better for health than the saturated fat found in animal-based foods such as meat and cheese.

After five years, people in the olive oil and nut groups lost more weight than the control group. One explanation is that participants in the olive oil and nut groups consumed fewer calories on average because of the filling effects of fat.



Source:  Lancet Volume 4, No. 8, p666–676, August 2016